East Region Premier League North, Ogilvie Park, 14/12/19
Arbroath Victoria Football Club
Founded – 1872
Nickname- The Vics
Honours – Angus Junior League 1928/29, 1936/37/ 1953/54 , 1954/55 and 1956/57
Random Fact – George Best turned out in a friendly v Arbroath FC in 1982. This was to mark the clubs centenary. The Irishman netted twice in a 4-3 win
Originally I was heading to Glenafton Athletic v Hurlford United (which was off anyway) but with my night time plans changing I needed a close game. A quick look at my list of teams to do this season, The Vics seemed to be a good shout. There was another Arbroath v Dundee game in the town on the day with United visiting Arbroath FC in the Championship. But I along with the other thirty or forty in attendance were more interested in the Juniors. A match between two of the oldest clubs in the land(Vics 1872 and Violet 1873)
Ogilvie Park is a proper Juniors ground. There are no stands as such barring a corrugated “enclosure” behind the goal. Adjacent the enclosure there is a pile of wood and metal work (potentially another supporters ares materials?) with other items lying about rotting making the place look like a tip. This adding character. On one wing there is a car park where a lot of people viewed the game from due to the bitter cold. On the other there is the board room, snack bar(where the mannie was very friendly and gave me Wee Mans stuff for free), toilet block and changing rooms. Nothing much for the eye to see. The biggest quirk is the goal height at the town end of the park. The difference between top corner heights was huge. Why this hasn’t been picked up on by a ref is bizarre. I noticed it straight away.
Unfortunately this game was ruined by the referee in the first minute when the Violet centre half was sent for a very early bath after being adjudged to have denied a goal scoring opportunity. I really couldn’t fathom it out. The striker was sandwiched between two defenders(the red card recipients being one) and crossed the path of the left hand defender meaning a tangle of legs. Foul yes but a red card is more than harsh as to me the other centre half was covering, as was the left back. The striker wasn’t really in control of the ball and had twenty yards still go to goal. This wasn’t to be the only questionable decisions by the referee who in simple terms was a balloon. He was seeing things that nobody else could see whether players, committees or spectators. The cream of the crop being when the Vics number ten was clipped but stayed on his feet to find himself one on one with the keeper only to be inexplicably pulled back for the foul almost five seconds later. Advantage? But there were much more and the game was littered with rubbish refereeing and pretty much ruined.
The first half was niggly with numerous off the ball incidents and late fouls. There was not much football on show at all. Violet being the nigglier probably due to feeling aggrieved at the early reduction of men. Their Jason Cummings doppleganger being the most arseholey on the pitch. Second half perked up a bit and the Vic took the lead through a scrappy goal. Possibly an OG or so it looked from Wee Man and my vantage point up high behind the goal at the other end(where there was grass to have a kick about at HT). Bit of a stramash of a goal which looked to be finished by the unfortunate Violet defender. The second goal was a thing of beauty. Michael Fotheringham received the ball on the left and cut in unleashing a cracking curling right footed effort from twenty five yards into the keepers left hand top corner. The third was incredible. This due to the fact it was a compete carbon copy of the second. Fotheringham found himself on the same spot when the ball came to him and he unleashed an identical effort which ended up with identical consequences for the Violet Keeper who was well beaten at full stretch leaving him to pick the ball out. That was game set and match.
As Wee Man and me were heading in the direction of the car we saw Violet being reduced to nine men. We didn’t see the offence but it was a second booking for the number 4 who was a petulant little brat all game and was lucky to be on the pitch so long after a naughty late rake of a Vics players achillies in the first half.
A cold one ruined by an inept referee. Not one to be remembered but its another Junior ground ticked off all the same
Me 173, Wee Man 42